martes, 1 de septiembre de 2009
Etta James: Come a Little Closer (1974) ... plus
Etta James was fighting serious substance-abuse problems when this album was recorded, commuting to the sessions from a rehab center. It was a triumph simply to complete the record at all. But although James' life may have been in rough shape outside of the studio, she delivered a fairly strong set that fused forceful '70s soul arrangements with some rock, jazz, and New Orleans R&B, making even more evident that she was one of the most versatile vocalists of her era.. Helmed by Gabriel Mekler, who'd produced Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night, the record features Etta James supported by a slew of hotshot L.A. session men, including Little Feat's Lowell George. The song selection ranges from ‘St. Louis Blues’ to Randy Newman's perverse ‘Let's Burn Down the Cornfield’ to the dramatic, melismatic ‘Feeling Uneasy,’ in which James improvised wordlessly over a suitably languorous, melancholy blues-jazz arrangement. The liner notes tell that she recorded this song while being sick with severe withdrawal symptoms. The result is simply harrowing and it counts, in fact, as one of the unsung highlights of her career. Other strong cuts here are the rousing ‘Sookie Sookie’, the upbeat ‘Gonna Have Some Fun Tonight’ and ‘Out on the Street Again,’ with its slightly sinister funk groove. This reissue adds a couple of interesting bonus tracks: the 1975 single ‘Lovin' Arms,’ a good rootsy ballad, and a single edit of one of the tracks from the album, ‘Out on the Street Again.’ http://www.allmusic.com/, http://www.amazon.com/, http://rateyourmusic.com/.